Dog Born With Heart-Shaped Patch on Coat

Puppy Heart

A baby chihuahua born with a heart-shaped pattern on his coat has become a hit in Japan.

The chihuahua has a white coat with a tan colored patch of fur in the shape of a nearly perfect heart that many onlookers now seem to feel is lucky.

According to owner Emiko Sakurada, who breeds chihuahuas, this is the first of roughly 1,000 dogs to exhibit this type of marking.

She has chosen the name of “Heartkun” for the prized pup, born in Northern Japan and soon to be famous throughout the world.

Spectators as well as the media have been mobbing the young dog, hoping for a chance to touch the dog, as it is believed to rub off some good luck.

This dog gives a new meaning to the phrase, “wearing your heart on your sleeve”.

Dog Breeds – Bernese Mountain Dog

A native of Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog, also known as Berner Sennenhund, Bouvier Bernois, or simply “Berner” has long served as both work dog and watchdog.

They are sturdy and balanced tri-colored dogs, known for their ability to pull carts and drive cattle.
They have a distinct coat made up of black, white, and rust coat that looks like it was specially crafted by an artist, and bear a resemblance to the Australian Shepherd.

Despite the ability to keep a watchful eye over their family, the Bernese Mountain dog still manages to remain extremely friendly with children while not being overly aggressive.

This breed craves exercise and the outdoors, though their endurance may be limited.  They are also playful dogs, that love to lean or even sit on your feet.

A perfectly bred Bernese Mountain dog is said to have a white “Swiss cross” on their chest when standing upright.

(photo: kellypuffs)

Dog Breeds – Belgian Malinois

First bred in and around the city of Malines, Belgium, the Belgian Malinois, sometimes referred to as the Belgian Shepherd Dog, is a highly proportioned and muscular, medium-sized working dog.

It is very intelligent and obedient dog, with a short and straight coat, and  a color scheme generally composed of rich fawn with ablack nose and black ears.

The Malinois, as Belgians refer to them, are quite possessive of their owner, and need to be well socialized at birth.

They tend to get along well with people, but may have problems with other animals.

This breed is most commonly used for police work, as well as for personal protection and detection.

The Belgian Malinois resembles the German Shepherd, but tends to suffer fewer genetic defects because of limited breeding.

(photo: intrepidmalinois)

Horse Breeds – Shetland Pony

Shetland Pony

The Shetland Pony originated off the northeastern coast of Scotland on the wet and rugged Shetland Islands.

It is believed that the ponies are descendants of a Tundra Pony that was found in Britain during the Ice Age.

The Shetland pony was originally used as pack animal for the crofters of the region and later as pit ponies in the mines of mainland Great Britain.

Though they aren’t very plentiful in the islands anymore, their popularity has led to extensive breeding throughout the world.

Today Shetland Ponies are very popular with children, and are often the best choice for a child learning to ride.

They are quiet small and sturdy, yielding thick coats and long manes and tails indicative of their hash origin.

The most popular color is black, but Shetland ponies come in a variety of different solid colors. The Shetland pony stands between 9.3 and 10.2 hands.

(photo: mrpattersonsir)

Dog Breeds – Collie

The Collie was originally a herding breed that worked in the Scottish highlands, though it didn’t take long for the Collie to become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

With the help of Queen Victoria, these dogs were brought to the attention of the world, and soon became one of the most beloved breeds.  Lassie , a “Smooth Collie” and infamous TV dog didn’t hurt either…

The Collie comes in a rough or smooth coat, and is a medium-sized dog with a notably pointed muzzle.

Their temperament is rather balanced, as they get along well with children and are protective of their family without being overly aggressive towards strangers.

They are very easy to train mainly because of their intelligence and willingness to please their owners.

There are several varities of Collie, including the  Rough Collie, Smooth Collie, Border Collie, and Bearded Collie.

Former US president Lydon Johnson had a Collie named “Blanco”.

(photo: christianmadden)

Dog Breeds – Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Supposedly a cross-breed of English descent, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever gained its name sake in Chesapeake Bay while successfully hunting water-fowl.

They are well equipped to do so on both land and water, and especially in icy conditions.  After game was caught, they would often accompany their owners to market, where they would protect the boat or cart from theft.

They may be mistaken for Labradors in appearance, but there are some clear differences in temperament, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be distinguished by its webbed feet.

They are more aggressive than most retrievers because of their background, but are generally well behaved and sociable.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the state dog of Maryland as well as the mascot of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Many owners refer to this breed simply as “Chessies”.

(photo: theladd)

Dog Breeds – Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres

The origin of this breed is still in dispute, but many believe it is cross between the Griffon and the Beauceron, from the French-Belgian region of Flanders.

During World War I, this breed served as a messenger and rescue dog, and today is used commonly to drive the herds of cowmen and drovers of stock in the Flanders region of both Belgium and France.

The translation in French is literally, “Herdsman of Flanders” while in Flemish they are known as Koehond, or cattle dog.

The Bouvier des Flandres breed is short and compact, but has a rather shaggy coat that gives it a more rugged appeal.

They are usually calm and friendly, and enjoy the company of most humans and other pets. They serve as loyal and protective guard dogs, and are smart enough to exhibit non-aggressive behavior at the right times, and vice versa.

Former President Ronald Reagan owned a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky.

(photo: wayne&sally)

Bird Breeds – Blue Fronted Amazon

Blue Fronted Amazon

This popular breed of Amazon is found primarily in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay.

This Blue Fronted Amazon is considered a parrot, and has a body made up of mostly green feathers, a yellow face, and blue coloring right above the beak which gives it its name.

They are known to be very good talkers if trained properly. In fact, they can learn a very extensive vocabulary as well as scream.

The Blue Fronted Amazon is typically found atop the canopy in tropical rain forests, and for this reason does best in a large cage if kept as a pet.

They enjoy human interaction, and will be quite forthcoming if hand-fed early on.

(photo: treez44est)

Cat Breeds – Russian Blue

Russian Blue

Although there is some speculation involved in the history of this cat breed, popular belief suggests that they originated in the Archangel Islands of Northern Russia, and were later brought to Europe.

Originally, they were coveted for their brilliant coats which resemble that of a seal, and today little has changed, as they are still a highly sought after breed.

The Russian Blue is believed to be a naturally occurring breed, although some crossbreeding took place during a shortage of the breed around the time of World War II.

This medium-sized cat sports a short, pristine blue coat with silver lining, and vivid green eyes.

The Russian Blue is a playful and extremely intelligent breed, and tends to grow very close to its owner(s). These cats do well with all people, and don’t mind being left alone all day.

They are truly one of the most beautiful cats in the world.

(photo: waldojaquith)

Horse Breeds – Friesian Horse

 Friesian Horse

The history of the Friesian horse dates a long way back to Roman times where historians documented the presence of Friesians mounted at Hadrian’s Wall.

But it said that the Friesian horse first originated in the Netherlands.  And it is also known as the only indigenous horse breed from the Netherlands still present today.

For years the Friesian was known as the greatest warhorse in Europe, and in the early 20th century it gained popularity as a trotting horse after being crossed with faster breeds, which unfortunately almost destroyed the breed.

Friesian horses are always black, and usually stand between 15 and 16.3 hands.  They are most noted for their thick manes and tails, and the feathering on their lower legs.

They are popular today as carriage and harness horses, but also good for all-around riding.

(photo: fchosson)